DLC REVIEW: ‘Dying Light 2: Bloody Ties’ Is Hit And Miss (PS5)

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Dying Light 2 Bloody Ties - But Why Tho

Our favorite infected-killing, hang-gliding, grapple-hooking, snarky Pilgrim is back, and he’s been seduced by the promise of fame and fortune. In Dying Light 2‘s first official story DLC, “Bloody Ties,” Aiden learns about a deadly tournament where people sacrifice everything just for status. However, to get in on the action, the player will have to fight in local duels and complete various missions to get an invite to the Opera, a mecca for the finest warriors. Along the way, Aiden assists Ciro, a young, aspiring combatant. But his involvement will send Aiden deep into a plot of power and revenge. Dying Light 2 is a first-person action survival horror game set in a post-apocalyptic open world published and developed by Techland.

To put it bluntly, “Bloody Ties” has ups and downs. The story has its interesting parts, but overall, is stale. Ciro, who is at the center of the story, along with his father, Ogar, is a character that’s hard to like, let alone want to suddenly help. The plot moves too fast, where one second you’re annoyed that Ciro stole your money, and the next, you’re drinking like best friends. As usual, you have some say with how friendly you are with Ciro, but his involvement is paramount to the story, so Ciro’s introduction and development feel too rushed to make you feel for the plight of Ogar and his sons.

Additionally, the big twist in the main story is highly predictable. And whether that’s purposeful or not, it only compounds the troubles with the storyline. Several new characters you can interact with also have their ups and downs. Some are interesting, others not; some have good voice acting and believable lines, while others leave something to be desired. And there are some odd dialogue choices, even when considering Aiden’s snarkiness and the eccentricity that makes up the last dregs of humanity.

But while the main story is hit-and-miss, the area where this DLC shines the most is its gameplay. Aiden enters a tournament that sees him climbing the ranks to make it to the final fight. Players will choose between four challenges: Rush, Freak Fight, Carnage, or Spectacle. Each challenge has three difficulty levels, and completing more challenges unlocks new levels that get progressively more difficult. These challenges include using your parkour skills to pass through checkpoints, defeating all enemies within a time limit, defeating a particularly nasty infected, or completing multiple objectives.

This latter challenge, Spectacle, is my favorite. It consists of a mini-story that the announcer narrates and has players go from one objective to the next, varying in the skills required to complete them. But while Spectacle is my favorite, all the challenges are plenty entertaining, especially with the change of scenery from one to the next—like a toasty level that will have you dodging flames and infected or a level that emulates city streets and skyscrapers.

But what makes these challenges worth buying “Bloody Ties” is just that—they’re challenging. You don’t get to bring in your weapons, just the clothes on your back and your sunny disposition. You’re supplied equipment and weapons for each challenge (or none, in the case of Rush) and are left with only a handful of heals. This equation makes figuring out what strategy to take with the artillery you’re given a challenge in and of itself. Dying or failing often results in restarting the whole challenge. And there a some new infected to contend with, like the Grenadier—an infected wearing fireproof coveralls that are armed with Molotovs. Overall, if you’re looking for a good challenge, “Bloody Ties” provides one.

The only downside to these challenges is that they can’t be replayed. So given that there are 16 in total, eventually, you’re going to run out. Outside the tournament, the side missions offer okay stories and dialogue, but, more importantly, are pretty challenging as well.

While I can’t say the story itself is particularly interesting, the gameplay is a lot of fun, and the side quests vary in depth and enjoyment. However, for $10, the amount of content you get from “Bloody Ties” is decent. If you enjoy Dying Light 2 for its gameplay, first and foremost, there’s no reason not to get this DLC. But if you’re expecting an enthralling story, you may want to pass on this one.

Dying Light 2‘s DLC “Bloody Ties” is available now on PC, Xbox X|S, Xbox One, PS 5, PS 4, and Nintendo Switch.


Dying Light 2: Bloody Ties
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL;DR

While I can’t say the story itself is particularly interesting, the gameplay is a lot of fun, and the side quests vary in depth and enjoyment. However, for $10, the amount of content you get from “Bloody Ties” is decent. If you enjoy Dying Light 2 for its gameplay, first and foremost, there’s no reason not to get this DLC.

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